BACK TO THE FUTURE: AN ODE TO THE JOLLY GREEN GIANTS
TULSA, OK — Today the Oilers unveiled a specialty jersey that will be worn on Saturday, March 20 against the Allen Americans. The jersey is a new spin on a classic look — an ode to one of the greatest eras of Oilers hockey.
When a team operates for nearly 70 years, there are bound to be some sweaters that are fan favorites. From the black diamond jerseys worn by the inaugural 1928 team, to the Sunday pinstripes that the team still wears to this day — the Oilers have a rich history of threads. However, no jersey has captured the imagination of Green Country quite like the Jolly Green Giant jerseys of the mid 70s. Even legendary broadcaster Doc Emrick displayed one of the hard-to-acquire jerseys in his home studio during the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals.
There are several reasons the jerseys were and are so loved. From 1975-78, the Oilers were the CHL affiliate for the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers’ mirrored their affiliates jerseys, bringing fans a connection to the parent club. There were also several fan favorites, including leading scorer Jim Wiley, tough guy Brad Gassoff and current Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness. Wiley, Gassoff and Bowness weren’t the only men with NHL ties. Twenty-four members of the 1975-76 team played in the NHL — the pinnacle of ice hockey.
More than anything, it was the team’s success that endeared the fans to the team and the jersey. The Jolly Green Giants won a Division Championship, a feat not reproduced by an Oilers squad until head coach Rob Murray’s group hoisted the 2018-19 Mountain Division Championship. Even more impressive than the division title was the 1975-76 Adams’ Cup victory. The Oilers terrorized the CHL during the season, registering a league-leading 301 goals while only allowing 228 biscuits into their own net. They were the only team that season to reach 100 points, and they did it in style. Not only did the Oilers score more than anyone else, they were tough, registering 1515 penalty minutes during the campaign — the second most in the league.
The playoffs were just as impressive as the regular season. The team lost only once in their last 19 appearances dating back to the late regular season before sweeping Oklahoma City in four games before dispatching the Dallas Black Hawks in five en route to a CHL Championship. Tulsa won the Adams’ Cup on home ice, becoming the only Oilers team to hoist a championship on Green Country soil.
Fans new and old can pay homage to the Jolly Green Giants in 2021. The current Oilers’ game-worn throwback jerseys will be auctioned off after the game in the River Spirit Lounge on the main concourse. If you can’t make the game, you can still submit an absentee bid by calling the Oilers office at 918-632-7825. Hockey sweaters not your thing? The team will also be selling green, 1975-76 Adams’ Cup victory memorabilia at the merchandise booth, ranging from shirts to hoodies.